Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:48:28 GMT
While residents in Oklahoma prepare to get on the road to recovery, they have a lot help. Some of it's coming from right here in the Tennessee Valley. More >>
While residents in Oklahoma prepare to get on the road to recovery, they have a lot help. Some of it's coming from right here in the Tennessee Valley.More >>
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
A gunman opened fire at a Tuscaloosa bar shooting 17 people. Three of them were University of Alabama students.
Ashley Garth's best friend attends the school.
"Hearing about this it's like, 'Oh my God.' It's like, 'Is that person ok?'" Garth said. "You start getting on the phone and calling to see what's going on because it can happen to anyone. It really could and you never know. You always have to constantly watch your surroundings - it's very important."
Garth's friend wasn't at the bar Monday night, but she said news of the shooting hit close to home.
"You can't go on living your life thinking that something bad is going to happen, but when something like this happens, it really makes you think," she said.
Lt. John Stringer with Madison Police said there are ways you can stay protected if you find yourself in a deadly situation while out in public.
"The best advice is usually the most simple: Cooler heads must prevail," Stringer said. "When everyone starts to panic, that's when they allow themselves to get into situations where it does become tough to not only function, but to survive."
Stringer said one of the best things you can do in a deadly situation like what happened at the Tuscaloosa bar is to stay out of the shooter's line of sight and put as much distance as you can between you and the gunman.
He said to always know where the exits are in any building you are in, and be aware of your surroundings.
"You have to mentally rehearse what you would do in any situation, whether it's somebody who has a weapon or was involved in a serious car wreck," Stringer said.
"Being able to function in it and use it to your advantage doesn't mean you are paranoid, it doesn't mean that you are looking for trouble, it just means that you are prepared," he said. "And in this day and age, we have to take responsibility for our own survival."